Date completed: October 2016 (2 players). Succeeded escaping!
Creativity: 7; Difficulty: 4; Atmosphere: 8; Fun: 8.5.
- 1-4 players
- 1 team member not colour blind
- Basic English
People who follow this blog may have noticed we travel a lot. So when Mark from Social Escape invited us to test his rooms, I immediately got interested in both games, themed around Paris and London. In Paris Escape, we saw ourselves in a situation we would rather not experience: you are about to take a flight home and cannot remember where you placed your return tickets! If you do not find them in one hour, you will lose the flight!
Although the idea of being stuck in Paris would not exactly be horrible, Paris Escape was a very fun game! This beautiful room has an interesting proposal: to be suitable for beginners, kids as well as keeping the interest of more experienced players. This room can also be played with only a single player! In our opinion, Social Escape nailed it. If you want to introduce friends to the awesome hobby of escape rooms, this can be a very good start.
For starters, Social Escape did a great job decorating this room. You are in a French provincial style hotel room in Paris, which resembles the sort of homes from Provence in the 17th and 18th centuries. Think pastel colours inspired by the landscape, beautiful wall-paper, detailed vanities and chairs. The soundtrack enhances the setting as well, with subtle street sounds. It is very natural. According to Mark, the initial project was to use posters and bed linen with “Paris” written in it, but his partner said that “no hotel in Paris would have those things”. She then suggested him to look for the Provence items. We are so glad she did, because the final result was great!
Second, most puzzles you solve and items you deal with are related to travelling. Suitcases, shopping bags, clothes… All puzzles are well inserted in the story, except for the first two, which are a bit “magazine style”. We did not mind them though, due to the proposal of the room, which was to provide a means of introducing people to escape rooms.
Players will have an advantage if they have good searching skills. I’m sure kids will love turning all those objects around – where else would they be allowed to play with fancy tables? 😀 Puzzles will also require that you spot patterns, associate items and use very basic logic and math. Mark designed very clever ways to avoid people taking advantage of external knowledge or trying to bypass puzzles in this room. Just keep yourself organised and you will be able to find your flight tickets in time!
Social Escape actually registers the time you solve every puzzle, so by the end of the game, you receive a chart with your performance in each of the activities, compared with other teams’average and fastest times. It is pretty cool and the only other place we ever saw something similar was in Riddle Room in Canberra. Our Social Escape graphic showed that we did well in most association and logic puzzles, but we could have been better searchers!
Trapspringer and I solved the room and found our tickets in 35 minutes. It was easy without being silly and the flow of the puzzles was very smooth. It has zero scary elements and I actually appreciated being in a room where the level of stress was not spiking at all times. We can see how it would work well for solo players (who do not have many options to play single player in Australia) or for groups trying to break time records!
After we finished Paris Escape, we continued our “trip” and went to test Baker Street Mystery, which was excellent (and way harder)! A third room may open soon at Social Escape, with a bank heist theme. I wonder where in the world Mark will take people to in that one!
Out of the room
Service: Mark, the owner and our gamemaster in Social Escape, was super friendly and really enthusiastic about his job. He really made an effort to accommodate us in his schedule, as we were coming from another city, and had a nice chat about the industry and nerd stuff in general.
There are lockers for player’s belongings, water and toilets. The reception area is also very spacious and can probably cater for large corporate events.
Communication: You just talk to the walls and the gamemaster speaks back to you. The sound is very clear and hints are unlimited. Mark followed our game thoroughly and his hint (yeah, we needed one) was pretty good – gave us direction without spoiling the answer, even though the issue was quite simple.
Surroundings: Social Escape is in Alexandria and there is plenty of free parking near the venue. There are also many pubs and Mark can recommend the best places to eat. We really enjoyed Lord Raglan Pub just around the corner, that had awesome $10 cheeseburgers on Sunday!